Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Political "debate" in the US

The tragic shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson is causing a secondary debate about the mood of US political discussion. It was only a few minutes after the shooting before people were pointing out Sarah Palin's "gunsight" advertisement.


By a strange coincidence, the ads disappeared rapidly, though Palin's people still insisted that it was harmless, didn't advocate violence, and that the "gunsights" were actually surveyor's location markers. (Though Palin herself called them "bullseyes".) Palin's Facebook site suddenly oozed condolences, in an example of barefaced hypocrisy, though not all cartoonists believed her.

Other comments on the farleftside.com cartoon site include this gem; "If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web with crosshairs on 20 pols, then 1 of them got shot, where would he be sitting right now? Just asking." - Michael Moore.

When TV commentator Keith Olbermann suggested that this event may trigger a turn for the better in US political debate, and that violent images and vitriol are no longer acceptable, guess what happened? Comments on websites suggesting that he should be shot, hanged, or worse, for being a wuss!

Of course, the shooter was not directly obeying an order from Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh - but these people influence the mood of the community, especially in a city like Tucson, where illegal immigration already has the populace in a lather, and the state government is enacting ID card laws that rival the Pass Laws of South Africa's apartheid era.

Later - this link was circulated on Twitter by Russell Brown of Public Address; http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline The growth of right wing rhetoric and loony exaggeration is very scary, and obviously their followers are not going to be swayed by reason and common sense.

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